Jane Campion’s Real Life Motherhood Plot
Amidst Top of the Lake: China Girl’s central thematic story lines related to motherhood – Mary’s relationship with Julia grows tense as she gets to know Robin – there was a real-life motherhood “plot” at play on the project as well: Alice Englert, 23, who plays Mary, is the daughter of Jane Campion.
A few days ahead of the US second season premiere, Campion and Englert spoke to Vanity Fair about working together, the unusual ways in which Campion has supported Englert’s acting career, and what a third season of Top of the Lake might look like.
Campion explains that she did specifically write the part of Mary with her daughter, Alice in mind.
“It was actually a real exciting kick for me when I realised [Alice could play the part] – as I was trying to get ideas for how the second season might look, and what we left uncreated in the first season – and [I] remembered the daughter, and did the maths on it and realised, ‘Ah, yes, that could be Alice.’ I was excited because I had hoped to work with her on the first series, but she got a bigger job.
“Sometimes, yeah, we frustrate each other, and maybe we can let steam off about that in a way someone who’s not a family member wouldn’t feel open to do. But I think having Alice to write for was really fun. Two reasons: she’s super talented, and it’s the kind of grown-up gift you want to give your kid.
“If there was anything I feel like I’m going to circle round and pick up [in a third series], it’s GJ, Holly Hunter’s character. [When we would revisit her], she’s kind of ended up in Thailand and dying for the whole episode.
“We were so sad not to have [GJ in season two]. She was so strong and amazing; that’s why I want her back. It would all end up back at the lake, of course.”
Original article by Josh Duboff, Vanity Fair, September 11, 2017.
Photo by Lauren Margit Jones.